I almost never go out for breakfast. Frankly, the limited range of basic bacon, eggs and pancakes bores the imitation maple syrup outta me. Besides, I can easily make that greasy stuff at home while padding around in bare feet and petting my dog.
But holy morning food of the gods, I will eagerly get dressed, slip on shoes, abandon the fuzzy beast and excitedly drive to German Village for the superior breakfasts served by the brilliant Pistacia Vera.
That's where I found myself last week, staring like a freaky, wide-eyed fetishist at the greatest pastries ever made in Columbus. Yet as The Cranberries were all-too appropriately singing "You've got me wrapped around your finger" over the place's speakers, I managed to rip myself away from those gleaming cases of mesmerizing baked goods and refocus on my task: sampling Pistacia Vera's tiny brunch menu (served every day 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.).
Before getting to that work-of-art food, I want to start with Pistacia's exceptional cappuccino ($2.75) - and so should you. Like most things offered in this thoroughly elegant shop, it's a bit of world-class luxury for just a little bit of money. Exhibiting long-lasting foam and a near-scientific balance between sweet milkiness and bitter, dark coffee, it's as fine a cappuccino as I've sipped in Columbus lately.
Similarly, Pistacia's killer quiche ($11) is my new favorite plate of bacon and eggs. Inside a thick, flaky and buttery crust that would shame your proud pie-making grandmother is an alluringly sensual, custardy filling. Golden brown on top and creamy underneath, the dreamy egg mass is scented with chewy cubes of extra-smoky, locally made bacon (Bluescreek Farm), diced sweet onions, Emmentaler Swiss cheese and just enough spinach to fine-tune the richness. This expansive wedge comes with a terrifically bright, refreshing and full-sized green salad that, when eaten afterwards, helps cleanse the palate.
Moderately more modest but equally accomplished are Pistacia's wonderful Shirred Eggs ($11). These are oven baked in the French manner to attain a best-of-both-worlds state of grace: firmly set whites with lovely, soft yolks. Adding power to the flavors, the whites are saltily sharpened with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and the casserole dish is bifurcated by a racy ratatouille. In case that's not enough (it is, but hey, go ahead and gild my lily) there are also hunks of deeply toasted croissants served with intensely fruity raspberry and blackberry preserves.